A YOUNG chef has been awarded third place in a national competition to find the best beef or lamb recipes from students aged 11 to 16.

Nathan Bates, 14, from Pickering, was presented with his award by celebrity chef James Martin at the Red Tractor beef and lamb Make it with Mince Challenge 2012.

Nathan won the regional round of the competition in Harrogate last year with his mince pie with roast potatoes, parsnips and carrots, and of the six national candidates he was placed third, winning a selection of James Martin cookware.

This is the first year there has been a third place ranking.

Nathan said: "I really enjoyed cooking my dish for James and the other judges in the regional finals - it was nerve wracking but great fun.

“I am really excited to be placed third nationally and I've already started practicing some new recipes with my cookware prize.”

James Martin said: “Nathan’s a very confident cook for such a young age and shone during the regional finals, impressing us with his skilful recipe, focus on taste and seasoning and real drive to pursue a culinary career.

The Challenge was developed by Red Tractor beef and lamb to educate and inspire young people to get hands-on cooking experience.